Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FREE! FREE! FREE! I adore free!

I finally got my act (and my list) (and my coupons) together and headed out to Super Coupon!!

I am so excited to tell you everything I purchased for next to NOTHING!

My grand total, including tax on all items, came to $20.67!

Here are the sundries that overflowed my many reusable bags...

2 reams of paper: 50 cents/each
1 8-pk of Bic pens: 1 cent
2 4 oz. bottles of glue: 1 cent/each
1 box HP 4x6 photo paper: $1

King-sized Three Musketeers: 24 cents
Philips earbuds: FREE!!

8 lbs. Domino sugar: $2.38
Blistex: FREE!!
Walgreen's 8 ct. tampons: FREE!
Tampax 18 ct.: 99 cents
Colgate Advanced: 25 cents
(Also received a Catalina coupon for another free box of tampons (up to $5) and a mail-in coupon for a free string backpack filled with a jump rope, water bottle and something else I can't identify from the picture. LOL)

2 30-ct Purex sheets: $2.98 each
12 oz. Pantene shampoo: $1
12 oz. Pantene conditioner: $1
Nivea lip balm: FREE!!

And lest you think this took most of the day, it didn't. I spent an hour this morning listing exactly what and how much I needed and assembling coupons. I clipped them all by store, so I was completely prepared.

I don't think I spent longer than 10 minutes in any of the stores, so it was totally worth my time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hahaha! This is a different way to have communion!

Juice boxes for the religious! (LOL) Complete with a snack!

No, seriously, these are individual and disposable little cups of wine about the same size as a coffee creamer. But before you get to the wine, you peel off the first layer of the top to get to the itty-bitty, little wafer. Then you pull the rest of the tab off and drink the wine.

I've never seen anything like it before and had a hard time not giggling in church this morning when the basket was passed to me. They're so cute!

And so random. I guess it's a good idea in some respects, but I didn't particularly care for the communion method at this church. (We're church shopping, by the way.) Communion wasn't presented to each parishioner by the pastor, but sent around the room via a basket. Kinda reminded me of Offering.

I missed our church back in Vancouver and our pastors there that we loved. I missed seeing our friends and the feeling that we belonged. 

I know we'll find that again, but still... 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ree. Dic. U. Lus.

Hayley's middle school is six minutes away. Three miles. Long enough to mandate a bus, right?

Well, it would have been in the olden days.

But those darned buses are just too expensive to run. The district can't afford it anymore, so they hefted the cost onto the parents.

Thoughtfully, they presented those parents with a choice:

Fork over $575 for a year of bus transportation for your kid ----- or ------ don't have bus transportation at all. 

And it wasn't an individual decision. The majority of the parents had to agree to pay for bus privileges. Naturally, most parents opted not to pay.

The school district axed the buses.

Here's what they didn't axe:

Long, long, long, long (and longer) lines of traffic.
Red lights.
Minimal parking.
Poor access to the school.
Angry parents.
Bored adolescents.
Wasted gas.
Wasted money on said gas.
Millions of pounds of CO2 released into the atmosphere.


Emma's fifth grade class has 35 students. 

Her classroom is so jam packed with desks that there's barely enough room to walk between desks.

Floor space for circle time has been dismissed.


Hayley's middle school classes have 45 kids!

Well, all except one: gym.

That one has 60.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sixty. 6-0.


Thank the good Lord that my daughters are intelligent and choose to pay attention in class. And thank Him even more that I am able to stay at home and have the opportunity to supplement their education.

They're gonna need it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

For a girl who hates veggies...

I could live on zucchini bread alone.

I'm pretty sure the streets of Heaven are made of this stuff.

I adore my mother-in-law's recipe, but couldn't find it yesterday so I opted for one on AllRecipes.com. (http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/moms-zucchini-bread/Detail.aspx)  I added 2 T. of wheatgerm and substituted half the oil with applesauce. It's now even healthier.

What's not to love?

Next time, though, I'll slip in some whole wheat flour. And I'd really like to work on a sugar substitute.

I can't stand Splenda, so that's out. Stevia's good, but it's not a 1:1 ratio and I don't know what'll happen with the chemistry of the bread if I don't have the same numerical amount of sugar.

Any delicious thoughts on that one?

My tummy is now very full and I still have half a slice of the Heaven Bread here in front of me, begging to be eaten. Can I resist?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The First Day of School (I capitalized that since it's just as important as any ol' holiday) was successful on all accounts!

Hayley jumped in the car with joy when I picked her up. She chattered on about how cool her teachers are and how much she likes her classes. And just as I promised she would, she made a friend right away. I now know more about that friend than I do any of her classes! LOL

Emma is equally thrilled with her teacher, Mrs. H. She's already comfortable in class and refers to her classmates as her "friends". One of the girls is even moving to the street perpendicular to ours in two weeks. How cool is that! Em will finally have a friend in the neighborhood!

Now that's she at the top of the food chain, a Fifth Grader, Emma gets to learn a new instrument! She's chosen the flute. Okay by me. At least it'll be way smaller than her violin that's constantly sitting in various chairs around the house waiting to be sat upon. :)

Budget cuts have forced the music program to provide only one lesson a week. Doesn't seem quite worth it to me to pay $25/mo to rent an instrument for one (large) group lesson.

Hayley learned to play the trumpet when she was in fifth grade, but they had lessons three times a week. Even then, it was pathetic how little they learned by the end of the year.

Emma's waited so patiently for so long that I'm certainly not going to tell her she can't play. We'll just see how it goes and chalk up the rental fees to the quickly lengthening list of child-related expenses.

My free hours of blessed silence were equally successful...

I slept.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today = A brand new box of Crayolas

Rife with possibility. Anything can be created. Anything can happen.

My wonderful and much-loved daughters are back at school. Thank the good Lord, we somehow made it through another summer. And I have survived, with only a couple gray hairs to show for it.

Now I sit here in the beautiful silence bathing in the possibilities of the day. Should I write? Or sleep? Take a long, long shower? (Don't call the San Diego water police on me, though!)

What about a pastry and coffee at Starbucks? Or perusing at the mall? Oooh! I could make some cards and listen to an audio book!

Maybe all of the above? Well, I only have 5 hours left so I'm going to have to make a choice...

Sleep sounds really, really good.

Considering that both girls slept with me in bed last night. Little sleep was had on my part.

Maybe a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats and a few minutes of the Today Show will help me decide.

Hope all of you are having a day as wonderful and promising as mine!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray! The start of another school year!

Hayley and Emma donned their extra cranky hats today since it's the last day of summer vacation.

But we made it a fun day anyway with swimming at the local pool and ice cream from Rite-Aid. Back at home, I let them veg in front of the tv (a huge treat since they don't usually get to watch tv during the day). They finished watching the ancient Michael Keaton/Gina Davis movie Beetlejuice, then played a couple rounds of Settlers of Catan.

Dinner, showers and reading completed our day. They're now tucked safely (if not happily) into bed.

Nonetheless, backpacks are filled, lunches prepped, French toast breakfast ingredients collected, new sneakers lined at the front door like little soldiers and first day of school clothes are quietly waiting on the tops of their dressers.

Off to bed for me in just a few minutes. Getting the kids up and out early means getting myself up and out early as well.

Operator? May I please have a 6am wake-up call?

I don't even mind the early rising since I will be privileged to have seven bicker-free hours all to myself!

***Update Update Update***

I'd barely finished typing this post when Emma came downstairs telling me that she's worried about her sissy. Awww! Hayley was sitting on the balcony sobbing. Poor angel isn't so nervous about starting a new school, but is just missing her friends from WA. My heart is breaking for her. I think I should staple a sign to my forehead: "World's Worst Mommy".

At any rate, both girls have cuddled up in my bed and hopefully, prayerfully, they'll fall asleep soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My first blog award!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Kendra at All & Nothing (http://kenedram.blogspot.com) for sharing this awesome award with me!

And now that it's on my Deliriously Delicious sidebar, I get to share it with some hard working bloggers that I know!


Here are the instructions to claim your award!

Here's the instructions if you've been awarded this bloggy award:

1. Accept the award (by leaving a comment on the original award post)

2. Post about the award on your blog (include the image of the award) together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and her blog link.

3. List 7 other Mommy Bloggers that you want to pass the award along to (no backsies). Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Time for Tuesday Tag-Along!

Welcome to this week's Tuesday Tag-Along blog hop, hosted by Twee Poppets Review and Giveaway! This is a great way to discover new blogs while increasing the number of followers for your own blog. 

Tuesday Tag-Along

Click on that cute badge there to learn more about Tag-Along Tuesday and her really cool give-aways!

And take a few minutes to check out the blogs below. We all welcome new followers, so clicking the Follow button on a blog (including mine!) will totally make the blogger's day!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Biggest Family Mystery Ever... SOLVED!

My amazing Hayley-Girl is... shall we say, hesitant.

She's hesitant to go places alone. She doesn't want to find the bathroom on her own at a restaurant or look at something in a different aisle at the store. She'd rather stay with me.

It took her two years (yes, two years) before she'd go to the drinking fountain alone at our church in WA.

And if she has to go somewhere completely separate from me? Oh Lord Jesus, help us all.

Two summers ago, she and Emma went to a Girl Scout day camp together. Emma hopped out of the car and started running toward the Meeting Field. Hayley cried and cried. "Mommy, don't make me go alone. Walk with me. I don't know where to go. What if I get lost?" Emma (who is three years younger) eventually came back to the car, taking Hayley's hand and leading her to her group.

Not normal.

And now we know why.

The girl can't see. She's worn glasses for years, but even with her glasses, she could barely focus on anything.

Of course, we updated her glasses every year, but in the meantime, her vision would change so dramatically, yet so gradually, that she didn't even realize she couldn't see properly.

No wonder the poor girl never wanted to go anywhere on her own! Who would when they can't see to figure out where to go?

I've been banging my head on the wall since Scott and I figured this out the other day. (I've got a nice orange peel print on my forehead now. LOL) How could we not have seen this? (No pun intended. Heehee!) How could we not have deduced this before now?

I took Hayley in for an eye exam last week. She's been telling me for a while that she needs new glasses, but we needed to wait until our new insurance could help pay for them.

The amazing Dr. J. actually held two lenses up to my eyes to show me what Hayley could see without her glasses. I'm not kidding you, Delicious Readers... blobs. All she can see are blobs. No detail. No definition. Just masses of faded color.

Then he showed me what she was seeing with her current glasses. Better, but still, I was horrified that she's been struggling to actually focus and I've been telling her to wait.

Had I only known, I would have paid just about anything to help the poor child.

Naturally, new glasses are in order, but more than that, she's getting contacts! The doctor gave her a sample pair that she's been wearing successfully for the past several days. This is huge news when you consider that Hayley, until very recently, has been intensely touch-sensitive. I never thought she'd been able to wear contacts, but she's been doing great with them.

Her sole frustration lies in that sometimes the lenses flip inside out when she tries to put them on. Neither Scott nor I have ever used contacts (and I don't ever wear glasses, thank you very much), so we cannot help her. I made sure she fully understood that before we left the optometrist's office.

I am so crazy proud of her for succeeding with contacts. My little girl is maturing.

And maybe now that she can actually see again, she'll develop the self-confidence she so desperately needs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So we move to So. Cal. and we can't go to the beach.

Well, let me clarify.  Technically, we can go to the beach. We can build sand castles, have a picnic and dig holes down to China.

But swimming? Off. Limits.

I, for one, don't want to share the shallow water with the Great Whites spotted just 50 yards off shore.

Nor do I want to have a face-to-stinger meeting with all the jelly fish and sting rays haunting the beaches.

The way I see it, these fishies are merely doing exactly what most humans do (or would like to do): they're travelling from their cold homes to a place they can get warm and enjoy the sunshine.

Makes total sense when you think about the cooler-than-normal temps this summer. Without the stronger temps to heat the water, their regular stomping (swimming) grounds just aren't warming up. Thus, they swim to where the water is more amenable to them.

Bad luck for humans that feel the very same way about that very same water.

And bad luck for my family 'cause we really wanted to go boogy-boarding.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Feeling negative about being positive

I'm a naturally optimistic person. I look on the bright side of things and try my very darnedest to find the blessings and/or reason behind the annoying factors in life.
  • Someone in front of my gets the last parking spot? Yay for them! That just made their day better!
  • I get lost trying to find a new store? I get to explore a new area!
  • I leave the house late for an appointment? Maybe God wanted me a few minutes behind where I would have otherwise been. 
  • I can't stand the kids' messes around the house one more second? The girls will only be kids for a little while longer--appreciate the disaster.
It's really not hard for me to step back and say, "Yeah, there are legos in 10 sq. ft. area and I can't get to the stairs or the front door without walking on them, but how cute is it that the kids (and Scott-LOL!) are having such a great time with them."

This morning, though, I'm feeling annoyed with other people constantly fighting my optimistic nature.

Here's why:
  • "It's a gorgeous day!" Response: The sun's too bright.
  • "It's a great opportunity to meet people!" Response: I don't want to meet sixth graders.
  • "Maybe you don't have anyone to eat lunch with because you need some down time or maybe you'll end up going to the same restaurant they did." Response: Right. Because there aren't any restaurants at all in Manhattan. (Obviously, he was being facetious. And annoyed.)
  • "We're going to take some stress of Daddy by organizing the garage today!" Response: Do we have to?
  • "We get to take the tram!" Response: "Only because we parked so far away."
Children mimic their parents. I see it every day! So why won't my children mimic my positive attitude?

I understand that some of it comes from their own personalities, but I also believe that optimism can be learned. And the more you do it, the stronger the happy habit becomes.

So why is my family so negative? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of their bad attitudes and constant pessimism. And I'm sick of the constantly negative responses.

Maybe my girls will be optimists as adults. Maybe their learning and I just can't see it.

(Grrr... Emma just came to me with a clay snail she made yesterday. Its head fell off and she's mad that now she'll have to start all over. Why can't she look at it as another opportunity to play with clay?)

Any advice, Delicious Readers?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Culinary Big "O"

People tell me I eat like a bird. (Well, minus the worms.) I do have a stomach the size of a golf ball, after all. Three bites of food, I'm full.

Even with my favorite foods, I generally *can't* eat more than a few bites, however much I might want to. That too-full feeling is just too darned uncomfortable and I'm not willing to endure it.

That being said...

Last night, Scott and I ran away from home for a couple hours. 6:30 on a Friday night is a tough time to go out to eat. Just about every restaurant has an hour-plus wait. Thank the good Lord, we got lucky when we finally decided on The Elephant Bar. Immediate seating!!

We both ordered the New York Strip Sandwich -- an 8 oz. strip on toasted garlic bread with a side of fries.

If I could hand out food awards, this one would win "The Big O Replicator". LOL

It. Was. That. Good.

It was so good that I, Official Bird-Like Eater, ate the ENTIRE THING in a matter of minutes. No thoughts about feeling uncomfortably full. No concern for calories. No attention to anything but this most amazing meal ever put in front of me.

Cooked to a perfect and tender medium, I enjoyed this steak more than any I've had at more expensive restaurants. The garlic bread underneath was softened by the juice of the steak and plenty of butter. The garlic... well, garlic makes everything that much better.

I shared one bite, one single itty-bitty bite, with Scott. (Being allergic to just about everything in bread, he eats very little of it anyway.) He fully agreed that it was amazing and then commented (jokingly, I think), "You better share some more with me so we both have garlic breath later."

Normally, this would give me cause to pause. I generally try to go easy on the garlic at dinner... You know, just in case. *wink wink*

This time, I ignored him completely and kept eating. Does that tell you something about how much I loved this meal? Hahahahahahahaha!

And what's more... I finished my entire steak and accompanying garlic bread in less time than it took Scott to eat even half of his.

Ignoring the fries completely, I pushed my plate back, settled my head on the back of the booth and sighed with heavenly satisfaction.

Scott just looked at me, smiling, and then asked, "Do you need a cigarette?"


Thursday, August 12, 2010

For the love of the iPhone...

"Sorry, Em. If you don't do your workbook when I tell you to, you have to do it when we go out to dinner."

"But, Mom! It's too dark in here! I can't see!"

"Yes, you can. Get to work."

"Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I can't see! My hand is making a shadow and making it hard to see what I'm doing!"

And Mom whips out the Flashlight app on her iPhone.

The kid's plan to avoid her workbook is foiled again!  Wahahahahahahahahaha!


They FINALLY got it right!

Check it out...

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but can you see what it says at the top of the book?

"Vocabulary words for unlocking the SAT, ACT, GED and SSAT."

Brilliant, I say! Simply BRILLIANT!

Studying for ungodly standardized tests is as bad as making cookies and not eating the dough. There's simply no joy in it. I remember clearly the hours of tedium, the hundreds of flashcards, the enormous efforts of rote memorization. No one ever thought to actually make the study process interesting.

Until now!  I must say it again... Brilliant, I say! Simply BRILLIANT!

So "defining Twilight" uses words and phrases from the "Twilight" series to engage students in actually caring about what they're learning! It gives the SAT-quality words along with page numbers and reference points to use in determining context clues. 

It makes the studying process interesting! I didn't actually buy the book seeing as how Hayley is still (only) three years away from taking the SATs, but I might just check it out from the library just to get a kick out of it.

Hhmmm... maybe I should get it for Hayley now anyway. It would really help her Scrabble game. ROFLOL!

Kudos to up-to-speed publisher Cliff Notes! And kudos to author Brian Leaf for capitalizing on the Twilight market. Why did I think of it first? (Oh, the agony of hearing a great idea that wasn't mine!)

Go Team Edward! Or Team Jacob! Or Team I Don't Really Care!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Look ye out fer a new Delicious as Pie feature!

I'm a-fixin' to give you-un's a shout-out on ye special days, be it a birthday, anniversary or first time picking a messa collard greens.

Just cha remember this: If ya don't see yo-self on this here Shout Out, don't go lookin' for a hangin' rope. Just shoot me an email lettin' me know you're a-hankerin' for some attention!

But seein' as hows I dunno many of yarn's birthdays and 'versaries, cha gotta tell me! I'll be a-lookin' fer yer comments!

(If you're wondering about the Southern talk, it's what's in my head right now. I'm re-reading the amazing novel "Christy". And true to form, the speech patterns of characters get stuck in my head and I think that way until I finish the book. Luckily for my family, I don't speak it out loud. Usually. LOL)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One month down...

A month ago today, we left the green glory of the Pacific Northwest. Thank the good Lord it was dark when we left -- otherwise I would have broken down in tears. I'm not so sure the other drivers would have appreciated all sob-induced swerving.

Moonlight hid the beauty, the mountains, the distant snow and the intense green that the P.N.W owns all rights to. And I drove safely south into the dry, brown, scrub-ridden land of Southern California. 

(This photo must have been taken in Spring when the few drops of rain San Diego gets each year have just fallen.)

Some people see beauty when they look out over the umber-hued landscape. They feel their souls fill with the unique joy that intense beauty can bring.

Several years ago, during our original foray in So. Cal, I spoke to my brother shortly after he moved from San Diego to the mountains of Northern California. He was giddy as he described the *green* leaves in the middle of summer and the deer that roamed his neighborhood.

I cried when we finally hung up. Not because I missed my brother, but because I missed soul-filling beauty. I'd felt such beauty when I studied in Scotland and for years, I was convinced that God meant for me to live in Scotland.

I've never made it back, but I have found other land that inspires my imagination. 

Chicago 'burbs? The prairie near our house was awesome to me... a golden, wild, untouched 5 acre field. 

Detroit 'burbs? Yes. And yes. And yes some more. I adore the Michigan land. During the 13 months we lived there, I fell in love with the trees and the water and the snow and the innocence of open land. Not just a "Nature Preserve" like in Chicago or a park like in San Diego, but miles and miles of untainted rivers and forests.

Washington State? Beautiful, without a doubt. Full of possibility, full of farmland, full of water. But it didn't provide the same rush of emotion that Michigan did. But it sure as heck gave my mind a lot of room for inspiration.

Not feeling it here in San Diego. Truth be told, I generally refuse to look at the ugliness around me. If I did, I'd probably change the area's precipitation pattern for the year with all my wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Of course I'm not depending on my surroundings to determine my inner happiness. No, my inner happiness is bolstered by my husband, my daughters (even when they incessantly bicker) and my far-away family. 

And that, my friends, is what I concentrate on when I drive around the area and see nothing but scrub. The only tears this place is going to see are happy ones.

Tuesday Tag-Along!

I love finding fun new ways to discover some of the amazing blogs floating around in cyber-space. It's so easy to get caught up in my own world, but reading other blogs, getting to know other people with different experiences is... well... it's just really cool!

And at the same time, Delicious as Pie will get a little publicity of its own. I'm always looking for new followers and this is a fantastic way to add to that little Followers list in the right column.

Feel free to click on the Tuesday Tag-Along badge in the left column to find out how you and your blog (if you have a blog, that is) can become a part of it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Found a blog I have to share with you!


I want my Michigan farmhouse back so I can decorate like this lady!

And remember my Make a Difference Monday posts a while back? We all need to take a cue from a woman who sent this blogger a gift. What a wonderful surprise to receive a gorgeously wrapped gift in the mail!

Say goodbye to the hair!

So long eight inches of hair. So long to massive handfuls of shampoo. So long to 15 minutes wasted in blow drying.

Here is the new and improved, the short(ened) and layered,
the darkened and the curled...

I had planned on donating the length of my hair to Locks of Love. But then the hairdresser told me I'd need to cut another two inches and that would take my hair to above my shoulders. I definitely did not want to do that. And now that my hair is fully cut and styled, I can see there's more than two inches to above my shoulders. I'm not quite sure what she was talking about.

Oh well. I donated 10 inches of hair when four-month old Emma's sweet and grabby little hands pulled and yanked on a minute by minute basis. So I've got my good karma already. :)

Now I'm off to the shower and to make my hair pretty for the day. Yay!

Are they ready? What's more, am I ready?

Hayley and Emma love my new layered hairstyle so much that they now want layers of their own. I'm not so sure about that.

Hayley is almost 13 so age-wise, I think it's the right time for her to start caring a little more about her looks. She loves pulling her hair into a pony tail and it's cute, but I have to tell you... the girl has thick, gorgeous hair and when she lets it down, it's incredible. It's got a little bit of body to lend it wave; it's got natural highlights and lowlights. Talk about being blessed.

Maybe a layered hair cut would be okay. My hesitation, though, lies in the fact that she flatly refuses to blow dry her hair and could generally care less about styling it. And when she does want it styled, I'm the one who still has to do it.

I've yet to see her experiment on her own. That right there tells me she's not ready for a real hairstyle yet.

Now let me expound on the fashionista in the family. Emma.

She loves fashion, hairstyles, accessories and helping me pick out clothes. (I confess that I need the help. Clothes frustrate me to no end and since my mom isn't nearby to pick out my clothes for me every day, I have an Emma to help. LOL)

In fact, Emma is right here next to me drawing and accessorizing a life-size picture of herself. (Giant sheets of Styrofoam are wonderful things, I tell ya!) Don't let the bow in her life-sized self fool you... she won't wear a hair accessory to save her life. While she loves to try new hairstyles, she absolutely will not wear a barrette or hair band to save her life. Pony tails are solely reserved for when she needs to get her hair out of her face.

So is she ready for an pre-teen hair cut? She'll be 10 in one month and two days. I guess we can go with long layers so if she doesn't like them or refuses to do anything with them, she can quickly grow them out.

After sitting here staring at the screen and contemplating the issue, I think the bottom line is... are they willing to take care of their hair themselves? If they're old enough to get actual styles, they should be old enough care for them.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Since when????

Due to the stale quality of a bag of sandwich rolls, Emma and I gleefully headed to a local pond to feed the ducks.

(The last time we'd been there, she was about 18 months. When she unleashed her toddler bread-throwing attempts on the ducks, they scattered.)

There's no chance for Emma to prove to the quackers that her aim has improved. 'Cause feeding ducks is now illegal!!!!

Since when? I guess I understand given the reasons listed on the sign (malnutrition, dependency, disease, environmental degradation and pollution).

But I'm so sad that I''ll no longer have the opportunity to hear my not-so-little girl's giggles as ducks follow her around the path, honking for more bread.

Bummer. Times two.

In light of my optimistic personality, though, I must point out that we had a wonderful time at the pond anyway. We ambled around the perimeter, then sat on a bench and watched the ducks we couldn't feed. Emma leaned her head on my shoulder and we sat there, so comfortable and toasty. I wish I had a photo.

And then we spotted the turtles! Lots and lots of turtles! We laughed as they paddled around the water, sticking their tiny heads above the surface. We counted and quickly lost track of the numbers of dog-paddling turtles.

The turtles garnered a gaggle of little girl giggles. (Like my alliteration there? LOL) So I heard the giggles anyway. *sigh*